Dearest Darling Friends,
Last Sunday, we had gone to play bowling followed by watching the latest bond movie ‘Spectre’.
The bowling tournament got completed much before anticipated time. With enough time to kill, we sat for a leisure lunch. A few more friends from the bowling tournament joined us.
A few talented ones, who had a flair for storytelling, were regaling us with their observations and mimicry. The spirit was fantastic.
A very quiet waiter, out of the corner of his eyes, was keenly watching one of our friends whose name is Swapnil Gangurde. He seemed to be avoiding coming in the line of view of Swapnil yet was intent on watching Swapnil.
When we came to our tables to refill water, his back was towards Swapnil, who was sitting about 10 feet away from us.
He hesitated and asked us, ‘ Is that Swapnil Sir?’. I answered, “Yes he is. But tell me why are you asking?” He shied from giving an answer. He just smiled and quickly moved away.
Swapnil left within a few minutes. Since we had about 45 more minutes in hand, we decided to hang out in the restaurant for a little more time. This time when the waiter approached our table, I insisted on his sharing with us about how he knew Swapnil?
He sheepishly smiled and said, “As a part of KEEP MOVING MOVEMENT, Swapnil sir had come to our school and taught us a lot of wonderful things.”
He lowered his voice and in a tone filled with shame said, “Actually, I am from a very poor family. Along with my studies, I am earning by working as a waiter here. Please do not tell Swapnil Sir, otherwise, what will he think of me?” Saying so he moved away.
I was dumbstruck. Here is a fantastic guy who is studying and making ends meet by working on his weekends. He should be proud of his sincerity, but, he carries shame and stigma of being poor. A person like this should be molded and mentored, right?
Bharathi my wife, our eldest daughter Jo and me, looked at each other and found admiration in our eyes for this lovely waiter.
To my wife Bharathi’s delight, I said, “Chal, let’s take a selfie with him.”
As we settled the bill, we asked him his name and he said, “Kuldeep Singh“. I put a hand on his shoulders and said, “Never feel low about being poor. Feel very good for your sincerity and dedication. I am sure one day, you will own a restaurant like this. Just keep learning and keep dreaming big. I am sure Swapnil will be so proud of you. In fact, next time you meet him, go and boldly tell him I am earning money by working every weekend as a waiter. I am sure Swapnil too will be so proud of you. Most rich people were poor at some point of time.”
We took a selfie with him and left the restaurant. Just before we left I looked at him and said, “We are going to watch James Bond but from today YOU are my HERO!” His eyes sparkled. He was completely embarrassed. The other waiters were watching us and completely amused. The manager thought we are completely wasting time. We were completely enthralled.
Not only were our stomachs filled with food, but our mind was also filled with admiration and salutations for our new friend Kuldeep.
We pray for his success and wish him all the very best in life. We also pray for all the ‘Kuldeep Singhs’ in this world. May they live with pride and dreams.
We went to play bowling but were bowled over. We went to watch a reel hero and met a ‘real’ hero.
It was one of the most wonderful Sundays that we will cherish forever.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.
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